Lions Lions - From What We Believe (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Lions Lions

From What We Believe (2009)


Lions Lions produce their own version of new-era, agitated post-hardcore interlaced with various forms of singing and screaming on From What We Believe. Despite the ambition to breathe new, creative life into a comatose style, From What We Believe largely passes by innocuously and uninterestingly.

The Boston-area band comprises ex-members of Vanna, Therefore I Am and A Loss for Words, and it makes sense -- Therefore I Am is an obvious comparison, as they share a few of that band's successes, but most of their faults, too.

There's certainly some hardcore influence here, though it's not quite put to efficient use. When the band strive for a massive sound employing booming gang vocals or bottom-end breakdown-oriented portions, it just sounds kind of forced or phoned in, rather than built up to, and there isn't enough of an atmosphere or unique tone applied to the more progressive, airy riffs that are supposed to counteract those heavier ideas. "Waves" is a little more realized than most other songs here incorporating such a blandness, but there's a part towards the end that sounds like any of the multiple Rise Records or post-Translating the Name/Chiodos clones.

Four Year Strong's Dan O'Connor and Alan Day deliver From What We Believe a pretty raw recording, yet the melodic vocals sound ironically overproduced when they're first unveiled in cringe-worthy form. That'd be when their lead vocalist sings the first line ("stayy out of the shadows") of "Shades of Separation." Things settle down a bit for the following songs' respective showcases of more melodic singing, but there's nothing special about any of the vocal deliveries nor the multiple guests that appear throughout the record's course. The full-on acoustic "Tumbling" starts out promising and the crisp strings are tracked nicely, but the unnecessary number of vocalists leads it to be pretty corny by the song's end.

From What We Believe is a nice try but falls far short of what it's striving for.

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